A CHRISTMAS CATCH-UP

It’s four months since I last blogged and to squeeze in here what has happened in those four months is a bit of a daunting task! However, there are those who said that they have missed my posts and that warms the cockles of my heart … people actually read them!

Firstly, let me share my Christmas wish with you:
2015 Xmas card 002

Since the last post, we have had a jolly good Open Studios weekend in the beginning of September and sitting here with my blanket wrapped around my knees, I can’t believe how hot it was! You can see the gleam…

Resulting from that event, we have decided to create a brand new Cyprus Open Studios and an enormous amount of work awaited. I’m still putting the last touches onto the newly created website where we will also have a store! Yes, you will be able to buy art online direct from us – another daunting task to set it all up! Sucker for punishment…

The first priority was to design a logo and that took several weeks of collaboration and eventually we arrived at this one, which everyone (so far!) likes:
FINAL OS logo

Massive amounts of really careful thinking went into compiling the Artists’ Handbook and the format for the Guide that will be printed for the event which will take place over the first four weekends of October 2016. We are considering moving it up the year to May for 2017 and thereafter, as May is one of the most delicious months here in Cyprus; the island wears her floral outfit which is gorgeous and the weather is superb. Apparently, it is also the month during which tourists flock to the island to soak up the sun after the long, cold and dark Northern Hemisphere winter.

I have two colleagues who both came on board willingly; again, it makes me feel as if we are onto a good thing here. In fact, I know we are! The one is an excellent artist and also teaches art, Marina, and the other, Nora, is an expert in PR and Marketing who concentrates mainly on literature and music but would love to get into the visual arts field. They are both Cypriots which makes life a whole lot easier to get messages across! We have great plans for the future of COS (Cyprus Open Studios), amongst them an ‘artist exchange programme’ where artists from other countries would be invited to participate in our event and they will then invite local ones to their countries for their events. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Do you want to come?

And I was thinking that I was retired! But, I have been told that the more active the brain is, the slower the aging process. I’m all for that!

Today, my house guest for Christmas will be arriving to stay for two weeks. His name is Barney and he is a gorgeous black Labrador – see for yourself!
IMG-20151204-WA0000

He and Jessie get on very well and Barney loves having a bigger garden to roam around in. His mom and dad will be spending the Festive Season in New Zealand. If all goes well, we will do the switch next Christmas, as I’m planning to spend Christmas 2016 in the Southern Hemisphere…

Which brings me to my next piece of news. I have decided to put my villa on the market in the spring as a half-acre plot on seven levels is becoming just a bit too overwhelming. When this body was more willing, it was different but these days it’s my brain that is getting all the exercise and thus is far more active! This decision has not been an easy one as I adore my home; we planned it and had it built for us to enjoy – and we did. I still do. It will be a wrench to move my belongings out of here but it will have to be done. My daughter, Joey, says: ‘Sooner is better than later!’

The main reason for this decision was a directive passed by the EU which caused Cyprus Law to revert back to the old ones and inheritance ramifications may make things truly difficult for my heirs if I were to kick the bucket at this point. I have no intention of kicking anything in the foreseeable future but one never knows when that bell will toll for me…

When Donald and I were scouting the world for our retirement paradise, France was at the top of our list. However, the inheritance laws in force in that country at that time, were exactly as the old laws in this country … to which we have now reverted. At the time when we settled in Cyprus, the Courts accepted the Last Will as written but now … no more. It’s very complicated and I won’t bore you with the details but I do not wish to bring misery to my loved ones when I’m no longer around.

I was fortunate that this step back into the past was not in force when Donald passed away otherwise I would’ve just owned 50% of this property right now… Yes, complicated! Anyway, by divesting myself of property here I am hoping to solve that problem. The intention is to rent an apartment when this piece of my heart goes to someone else.

And this brings me to the end of my epistle – Barney has just arrived!
I wish you every happiness and send you my love and gratitude for being in my life.
Maria.

20151201_105915-1  I’ve had a haircut since Open Studios!

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One response to “A CHRISTMAS CATCH-UP

  1. It will not be the same without you just down the hill from us Maria! But understand why you are moving, the law is an Ass as they say well at least the EU law. Fortunately we can revert back to English law re wills. Anyway lovely blog and well done for all your hard work and the pleasure you give to everyone.

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